Ultimate Rivals: The Court on Apple Arcade lets you dunk on sports legends
Bit Fry's follow-up to Ultimate Rivals: The Rink is NBA Jam meets Street Fighter. Play it today on Apple Arcade.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Ultimate Rivals: The Court -- the newest installment in the Ultimate Rivals franchise from Bit Fry Game Studios -- launched for
subscribers on Friday. Thanks to the studio's licensing deal, Ultimate Rivals: The Court lets you build a dream basketball team with some of the world's most famous athletes from the NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, NFL and US Women's National Soccer Team to compete in three-on-three matches.
Ultimate Rivals: The Court features over 140 characters to play with and against, like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Candace Parker and Alex Morgan. Each athlete has a specific power-up as well as unique moves to help give your team an edge. Bit Fry's creative director, Arjun Rao, told CNET that more athletes are on the way like superstars and legends from the world of WWE.
New to sports games? Rao says no problem. Ultimate Rivals: The Court drew inspiration from the classic arcade category and beat-em-ups, with the flowing gameplay of Geometry Wars.
"Imagine Street Fighter, but instead of shooting fireballs with Ryu, you're performing flaming dunks with Shaq," Rao told CNET via email. "Or turning your opponents into ice with Wayne Gretzky. It's an arcade basketball game with the style and substance of a fighting game or a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Video Games)."
Try your team in challenges like The Gauntlet or training modes in online multiplayer matches or against an AI by yourself. The game includes a comic-book series backstory feature that delves into new characters, story lines and game insights.
Bit Fry made its foray into the multi-sport franchise in 2019 with Ultimate Rivals: The Rink. As The Court is basketball-focused, The Rink featured mostly hockey players, but gamers could pad out their roster with athletes from almost every major US sports league.
Rao said the Ultimate Rivals games will just keep getting better as the franchise grows. According to Rao, Bit Fry's CEO Ben Freidlin likens the game studio to heavy metal band Metallica. Freidlin equates Ultimate Rivals: The Rink to the band's 1983 debut album Kill 'Em All, and Ultimate Rivals: The Court to the 1984 album Ride the Lightening. If you're not a diehard Metallica fan, Kill 'Em All was a triple platinum album, while Ride the Lightening was certified 5 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Ultimate Rivals: The Court joins Apple Arcade's extensive catalog of over 190 games playable across iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod Touch and Apple TV for $5 a month. In addition, if you've recently purchased a new
device, you can get a three-month free trial of the
subscription service. Even if you don't buy a new phone, if you're signing up for Apple Arcade for the first time, you get a one-month free trial. To try the service out, open the App Store and tap the little joystick icon at the bottom of the screen.